Danijel's Review of God Bless America
God Bless America(2012)
In Bobcat Goldthwait's vision of America two outcasts begin a killing spree nobody tries to stop because they are more concerned in doing their pop culture stuff. They are Frank Murdoch (Joes Murray), a midle-aged, divorced father of one who acts because he is fed up with the society's hypocrisy and Roxanne Harmon (Tyra Lynne Barr) whose reasons lie in being more advanced than her peers, other 14 year olds around. The surveillance camera catches them early on, but nobody reacts to save the lives of humans who could be their next victims. The movie accepts that as something normal, and justifiably so. It is a statement, the most clever one in the film too. And you know why it's the most clever one? Because it is the only one the writer - director doesn't throw directly at his audience. You acctualy have to look for that one on your own. It wasn't that hard. Maybe we could even manage with something more if we were given the chance.
Let's get one thing strate at the beginning. The things said in this movie I don't have a problem with, intention free as they may be. I too "hate people when they are not polite". I too think we live in a "civilization of supreme mediocricy". No restrictions to America. The whole world is becoming Americanized, in the worst sense of the word. But when I play a movie, I want to see some spin on the material, a little mental stimulation perhaps. Instead, Goldthwait gives us a script that sounds like a collection of people having a conversation over a cup of coffee. The fact that those are inteligent people in question doesn't change anything.
Don't be fooled to think that the intention behind this movie is not to shock. I say this because it may look like that on the surface. It looks ordinary in its violence, nonchalant even. And that's exactly what should shock us. That we've come to the point when, seeing the numerous deranget reality show deviations and other pop culture garbage the idealisam of 50 years ago turned into, the point that some people don't deserve to live is becaming more and more valid. After raising that, most controversial of all ideas, Goldwait subjects it to an approach which couldn't be more mellow and infantile. Not that he could find some satisfying argument for that anyway. The object of his satire are things which are satirical by their very nature and his response to them is violence, the notion of its normality. That's his satirical attack. Really? In this day and age? You don't have to go further than the movies. Most people don't rent them blodless.
Since violence is populist (it would take very much to convince me otherwise) and this movie is aiming to be satirical, what we get is a populist satire, an oximoron if there ever was one. Only thing worse than that is to disguise it (badly) in a cautionary tale. Shame, because much of the humor does work and the finishing sequence would be thriling if the movie managed to bring us there interested.
The best comentary about modern society God Bless Americe gives is the unintentional one. Remember Bonny and Clyde, remember Leon, remember even Falling Down, just to name a few. And than look at this, their succesor in different parts. How more repetitive can we get?
One more thing. What infuriates Frank the most are scenes where everybody makes fun of a talentless contestent on American Idol just for the sake of entertaining the masses. Wasnt's that the only function of Goldthwait's character in Police Academy?